Trunks and Gohan are deeply intertwined with one another in the Dragon Ball world. The two are both the firstborn sons of pure-blooded Saiyans, and both were given great expectations from that legacy. Trunks and Gohan are stuck between two identities and the tension that causes clearly affects them both. However, the reaction to their life’s direction and their call to be a fighter is handled completely differently.
Gohan had a head start, but all this is thrown off by the fact fans meet Trunks from the future. This conundrum means when discussing what Trunks can do that Gohan cannot, one must take into account the alternate timeline. It is all fuzzy due to this fact, but there are ways around this troublesome detail. Either way, alternate timeline or no alternate timeline, Trunks is still capable of doing things Gohan is not shown doing. Trunks has abilities and life decisions that separate him from the man who trained him (in the alternate timeline).
In fact, there are enough differences to make a whole list of things that distinguishes Trunks from Gohan. Now, for the sake of the viewer’s sanity, entries involving Future Trunks will be clarified and compared only to future Gohan. Again, if Future Trunks is not clarified in the entry, then that means the entry is referring to Trunks from the base timeline. Also, none of these entries suggest that Gohan cannot definitely do these things. Every entry is based on concrete examples of Trunks performing moves or doing things that Gohan is never shown doing. If Gohan is not shown doing it, then Trunks gains the benefit of the doubt. So, be prepared, because some of the feats on this list might be doable for Gohan, but, unless there is definite proof, Trunks wins out.
With timelines and rules out of the way, it is time to get into 20 Things That Trunks Can Do (That Gohan Can’t).
20 God Breaker
This list kicks off with a quintessential Trunks move. After all, Trunks is trained by his father, Vegeta, so his moves differ a lot from Gohan. The Prince of All Saiyans taught his son everything he knows, but Trunks seems to pick up some moves from his future self, too.
Fans are first introduced to this move when Future Trunks uses God Breaker to eliminate King Cold during their battle. The flash of yellow energy crashes over the enemy like a wave and causes serious damage. Fans never see Trunks learn the move, but it is likely that Vegeta taught it to him after seeing Future Trunks do it. That possibility is likely, or destiny leads Trunks to teach the move to himself. Either way, the God Breaker makes more appearances and is even used to finish off Goten in the 25th World Martial Arts Tournament. Still, the move is all Trunks and Gohan is never shown using it.
19 Fight without the Z Warriors
So, a little clarification is needed here. Obviously, Future Gohan fights without the Z Warriors for a long time. For years, he is one of the only survivors once the Androids attack. The real point here is: Future Trunks is able to win without the Z Warriors present. Future Gohan passes away at the hand of the Androids, but Future Trunks is able to become the sole defender of his Earth.
It is a distinction given to Future Trunks that not many characters can claim. Future Trunks keeps the people safe without a sideline of warriors tagging in when he needs a break. There is no group of supporters tossing sinsu beans in from the sideline. Trunks is all they have, and he still wins. Future Gohan is given the same responsibility, but he cannot pull it off. Only Trunks is able to fight without the Z Warriors and win.
18 Ultra Super Saiyan
So, yes, fans reading this entry will be quick to point out that Gohan is more than capable of reaching this state if he wished to reach it. However, the rule of this list is: if viewers do not see Gohan do it, then Trunks gets the benefit of the doubt. However, going Ultra Super Saiyan is not a plus for Trunks here.
Going Ultra Super Saiyan hurts Future Trunks in the series. During his battle with Cell, Trunks uses this form and all the strength that comes with it. However, this type of Super Saiyan weakens the user's ability to match their opponent's speed. Gohan knows not to use this form, and that is why the power-up is something Trunks had done that Gohan has not.
17 Burning Attack
Burning Attack goes underappreciated in the canon of Trunk’s moves. Gohan has some excellent go-to moves. Fans know the kind; the move that demolishes an opponent more often than not, and is key to the fans recognizing the character.
Future Trunks and Burning Attack are complicit companions. Trunks uses this move against some of his strongest opponents. Though the move is not a finisher, it is one of the seemingly go to moves for Trunks. Not even Vegeta is capable of this move, and it is clear that the manga intended for it to be a move solely owned by Future Trunks.
16 Super Saiyan Rage
Every fan remembers the first time their favorite character went Super Saiyan. Gohan’s big moment comes against Cell when he goes Super Saiyan 2. The moment is legendary, but Trunks has in own special moment.
When fighting against Future Zamasu and Goku Black, Future Trunks is pushed to the edge by their taunting. A result is a new form of Super Saiyan called Super Saiyan Anger (or Rage) that gives Trunks a tremendous power boost. The rage induced mode is a moment similar to Gohan’s fight against Cell, but this one is entirely Trunks to own.
15 Stop Bobbidi
Okay, to be fair, this is not Gohan’s fault. Vegeta ruins the chances for any of the Z Warriors to stop Babidi (or Bobbidi depending on the alias). When Gohan goes to stop Babidi from creating Majin Buu, the result comes up short. He fails in his goal, but the turning of Vegeta seals their fate first.
On the flip side, Future Trunks is able to prevent Majin Buu from arriving in his timeline. He stops both Dabura and Bobbidi from creating the monster Majin Buu. Granted, Trunks does not have to deal with the drama of his father turning evil to beat Goku. If given the same circumstances, then Gohan might be just as successful. However, fans will never know for certain. What is know is that Future Trunks successfully stopped Bobbidi, unlike Gohan.
14 Fusion Dance
Believe it or not, but this is entry is discluding Future Trunks. Technically, in the manga and video games, Future Gohan is able to fuse with Future Trunks. However, this feels like a technicality that, for the sake of this list, Screen Rant is going to take it out of consideration.
Gohanks makes a limited run in the series that is nothing compared to Gotenks. Trunks and Goten fusing in the main timeline is an integral part of the Majin Buu arc. Their fusion dance takes time to learn, and Gohan is never involved in the process. Unlike other entries that include Future Trunks for an argument, the idea of Gohanks is so limited that taking it into account feels like too much of a stretch.
13 Manage without Dragon Balls
In the main timeline, the group does not have to go long without Dragon Balls. Many of the early arcs center around gathering the Dragon Balls or finding a way to get them back. The idea of not having them only becomes a reality towards the end of Dragonball GT.
Future Trunks grew up without Dragon Balls. He understands them, and the value is not lost on him. However, every passing that occurs in his timeline holds its weight. His father is not coming back to life, and neither is Gohan. Future Trunks is protecting the world successfully knowing he has no do-overs. Gohan, in all his time as a Z Warrior, never has to deal with those odds and manage it successfully.
12 Kikoukenjutsu Sword Style
By the end of the Dragonball manga and the series itself (at least in the simplest definition of an end), Gohan is shown as a settled character unwilling to be the fighter he once was. To be clear, Gohan is still a strong fighter, but fans know he is more of a defender than a willing fighter. He lacks the desire to fight like his father constantly.
On the opposite side, Trunks enjoys fighting and so does Goten, Gohan’s younger brother. The two eventually create their own fighting school focused on using ki energy through swordsmanship. Not much is known about the martial arts academy other than the fact it is created and taught by Trunks and Goten. The desire to teach fighting is a key characteristic that separates Trunks from Gohan.
11 Finish Buster
The Finish Buster is a big power move used by both Trunks and his future self. Gohan may have his own long list of powerful moves, but this move is another Trunks original. Gohan is able to eliminate perfect Cell in the main timeline, but Future Trunks needs to handle his own Cell as well.
To demolish the sneaky green monster, Trunks chooses to use the Finish Buster. The move is used in variation with the Heat Dome Attack to wipe Cell from Future Trunk’s Timeline. Later, in the main timeline, Trunks also uses the move against Broly suggesting the move is either naturally his or taught to him by Vegeta somehow.
10 Vision Smash
Fans of the video games will remember this countermove specific to Trunks. Trunks uses this martial arts move against Goten in the Martial Arts Tournament. It involves dodging the opponent then punching them in the face. From here, Trunks moves quickly beyond the opponent in a flash then kicks them in the back.
At his peak, Gohan likely could have learned this move. However, he never did. Not even Goten is shown using this move, which suggests only Trunks shows an affinity for it. Trunks did invent the move, so technically Gohan was past training and growing as a fighter by the time this move came around in the series.
9 Defeat both Frieza and King Cold
It is one thing for a fighter to defeat Frieza. Not many characters in the show manage that feat alone. However, Future Trunks makes an even more impressive statement in his debut. Trunks enters the main timeline right before Goku arrives back on Earth and wipes out both Frieza and King Cold.
Gohan is too weak to defeat any of the versions of Frieza he comes up against (he sees him more than once, but is never at the right level to defeat him). Trunks is lucky and finds himself in the right place against the right Frieza. With his power, he is able to go Super Saiyan and take out to of the strongest warlords in the universe. The ability to defeat them both quickly is a special privilege reserved for Trunks and Trunks alone.
8 Big Bang Attack
Having Vegeta as a father/trainer comes with its advantages. For instance, the full-blooded Saiyan is a rare teacher, and Vegeta is an expert on Saiyan lore, something Goku is not. Vegeta understands the strengths of being half-Saiyan and works those advantages into Trunk’s training.
Gohan has to wait to train with his father, and he learns in a more traditional style. This is why Trunks is able to master a move like the Big Bang Attack. That move, like some of the moves taught to Gohan, is capable of destroying an entire planet. Not only does Trunk know a move that Gohan does not, but the Big Bang Attack symbolizes the alternative nature of his training.
7 Evil Containment Wave
The Evil Containment Wave is an interesting skill. It is a retro move used early in the series that does not appear again until later. However, this entry is kind of controversial (like along the Gohanks route). Technically, Future Trunks uses this technique to seal Future Zamasu in the anime only.
The decision to include it is the fact it holds enough barring on the plot of the story, unlike Gohanks. Future Trunks shows a lot by using the Evil Containment Wave. On the one hand, he shows his intelligence and talent by learning the move through a video of Piccolo using it. On the other hand, it also shows the dynamic between him and his mother, Bulma, who gives him the video and idea. The two characteristics further differentiate Trunks from Gohan.
6 Wield The Sword of Hope
The Sword of Hope is an impressive finishing move that ties into an entry further down the list. The move involves Future Trunks going Super Saiyan Rage and combining Spirit Bomb energy with his sword. Trunks then holds the energy with his ki embedded in the weapon.
The result is a master tool only ever wielded by Trunks himself. Gohan is capable of wielding a sword, and, in fact, the Z Sword is wielded by him before Future Trunks. However, the Sword of Hope technique is a recent trademark move solely used by Trunks. Gohan never wields any sword with that kind of destructive energy.
5 Buster Cannon
Trunks gets frustrated often as a fighter. He does not play around, and when he aims to finish an enemy, fans can bet that enemy is gone. The same can be said of Gohan when he does fight. The two of them do not like playing around with their enemy or giving them the chance to live.
However, the two differ in preferred finished. Trunks prefers to finish off his biggest opponents with the Buster Cannon, a pumped-up version of his other moves. Buster Cannon is the move of choice for Trunks to destroy the Future androids and Baby. Though it does not always finish the opponent, the Buster Cannon move represents a final moment of frustration for any fight Trunks is in with a tough opponent.
4 Fight Zamasu
Fused Zamasu is no joke. The villain worked with Goku Black to fuse into the ultimate antagonist to Future Trunks. He imposes a god like will against the brave fighter, and it takes a lot of support for Trunks to defeat him.
Gohan is long gone as a fighter by the time Trunks needs to fight Fused Zamasu in the series. This fight is where Trunks uses the Sword of Hope to defeat Zamasu. It would be an understatement to say this is one of Trunks biggest victories. However, only one victory might match this one, and there is an entry just for that victory, too.
3 Defeat the Androids
Future Trunks goes back in time for one purpose: help the Z Warriors defeat the Androids to save his timeline. He goes through the entire arc with that one goal in mind. He knows the type of chaos the androids can cause, and he works tirelessly to save the planet from his future.
The result is Trunks becomes strong enough to overpower the androids in his own timeline. Future Gohan passed away attempting to destroy them, and Trunks is determined to avenge his teacher. Trunks uses the Buster Cannon and do something Gohan is never able to do in that timeline--defeat the Androids.
2 Double Buster
Sometimes Future Trunks does not get the credit; instead, the main timeline Trunks is capable of creating his own moves. Gohan made some of his own moves, and his entire skill set is stacked. Still, Trunks deserves his own credit.
At the young age of 8 (seriously he is just 8), Trunks creates the Double Buster, a dangerous wave of energy capable of causing serious damage. Now that sounds familiar to many of Trunks moves, but the difference is the setup and execution. This move is all main timeline Trunks. Future Trunks can likely use the move, but only because of the original Trunks creating it.
1 Overcome His Father’s Legacy
No one would ever enjoy standing in the shadow of a legendary Saiyan Warrior. Goku is the world’s most famous fighter and right next to him in every record book is Vegeta. The two make it nearly impossible to live up to their expectations and achieve a remarkable legacy.
Gohan chooses not to overcome Goku’s legacy. He rejects the fighting moniker and makes his own path. It is an accomplishment in its own way. Trunks chooses to be a fighter and he does his best to match Vegeta is that way. Amazingly enough, Trunks meets his father’s expectations and even surpasses them. He takes up the challenge to overcome Vegeta’s legacy and manages to do it. Trunks is an incredible fighter, and he takes up a challenge Gohan is not willing to accept.
What do you like about Trunks from Dragon Ball Z? Let us know in the comments!